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 1308158591 group process workshop 2011
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1308158591 group process workshop 2011


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  • 1. Supporting Students Throughout the Group Process
  • 2. Group Process
    • “ Groups are the Ferraris of work design. They are high performance but high maintenance and expensive.”
    • - Lawler
  • 3. Learning How to Collaborate
    • Learning to work in a group is a new skill for many students
      • Students may become frustrated
      • Students may want to work alone
      • Students may lack the skills to be a good collaborator
    • As with any new skill, the students will need practice, guidance, and support to develop this ability
      • With repeated practice and reflection, students will improve
      • Teachers use several different tools to help students become better collaborators
  • 4. This is a student’s biggest fear!
  • 5. Five Ingredients Necessary for Successful Collaborative Learning
    • 1. Positive Interdependence - sink or swim (common goal)
    • 2. Face-to Face Interactions
    • - motivation, joint problem solving, clarifying task
    • 3. Individual accountability
    • - structure group objectives
    • - set interim deadlines
    • - peer assessment of individual contributions
    • 4. Interpersonal, Teamwork & Social Skills
    • - Discussion, problem solving/decision making, communication
    • 5. Group Processing
    • - evaluate group process, provide each other feedback
    • Source: Johnson, D.W. & Johnson, R.T. (1991)
  • 6. How do we support students in their development of group process?
    • Create a structured learning situation for student collaborative work with clear roles and group interaction norms.
    • Provide structured questions and process tools that guide students in their groupwork.
    • Monitor groups while they are working – observe and listen to group members, and provide feedback.
    • Implement workshops and discussions to support students in their own awareness of the characteristics of group process.
  • 7. Form Groups with Intentionality
    • Heterogeneous groups: mixed-abilities (high achieving, middle achieving, low achieving)
    • Homogenous groups: same level of achievement. This allows for a teacher to work with groups needing more help.
    • Based on interest/topic
    • Students elect group leaders, who then form the groups equitably with teacher guidance
    Possible Ways to Form Groups - Some Ideas in PBL Starter Kit (page 73)
  • 8. Student Group Interaction Norms
    • Create an agreed upon decision-making process
    • Use that process to check for disagreements and to discuss “undiscussables”
    • Use questions to address potential conflicts and to explore ideas
    • Always check-in on each member of the group to make sure they understand the group process
    • Each group member will explain their actions or beliefs to the group
  • 9. Student Group Interaction Norms (cont)
    • 6. Each group member is responsible for all other group members in understanding the task and coaching each other to perform at a high level
    • 7. Each group member will explain important words and provide specific examples when needed
    • 8. All group members will question other members when they encounter “jump to conclusion” comments
    • 9. When sharing ideas all members will advocate their ideas and ask questions about other ideas
    Take a look at the collaboration rubrics that have been developed for both middle and high school by the district!
  • 10. Group Process Tools
    • Develop organizational tools, forms, journals, and other structuring documents that foster the smooth processes needed for effective cooperation and group work:
    • Group Contract
    • Group Feedback Tool
    • Pacing Chart
    • Group Task Sheet
    • Group Observation Checklist
    • Group Learning Log
  • 11. Group Contracts
    • Have groups write a group contract at the start of a new project
      • Provide a template, guiding questions, or sample contract
      • Review the contract with the group and have each member sign it
      • Keep the contracts readily available
      • Refer to the contract when problems in the group arise
      • Ask the groups to reflect on the contract at the end of the project
  • 12. Example - Group Feedback Tool
  • 13.  
  • 14. How Can I Intervene When a Group is Not Functioning Well?
    • Point out the problem and ask the group members what can be done to resolve it. If there are no suggestions, model several possibilities.
    • If a group member is not participating, ask him/her to explain what the group is doing and why.
    • If a group asks you a question, try to turn it back to the group to solve, or just give enough help to get them started.
    • Sometimes it can help to participate in a group meeting as a member of the group to model effective process and collaboration skills (i.e. active participation, listening, questioning, etc.)
  • 15. Some Final Thoughts on the Teacher’s Role in Group Process
    • Forming the work groups with intentionality
    • Clearly specifying objectives in terms of both product and process
    • Providing or directing students to appropriate resources
    • Monitoring groups as they work and offering feedback as well as support
    • Practicing group communication skills
    • Evaluating student performance
  • 16. Research-based Final Thoughts…
    • Research has suggested that group size should be approximately four (4) people – exceptions should be rare and with specific purpose/focus
    • Students across the spectrum of abilities benefit by heterogeneous grouping, especially low-ability students
    • Positive structures must be in place to support groups or else the groups may be ineffective
    • “ Positive interdependence” includes mutual goals, joint rewards, as well as resource and role interdependence
    These research-based strategies were developed by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Portland, Oregon
  • 17. Useful Websites